“Law departments are twenty years out of touch with best-in-class processes”

This assertion by James Potter, General Counsel of Del Monte Foods, pokes up its provocative head in David Galbenski,Unbound: How Entrepreneurship is Dramatically Transforming Legal Services Today (2009) at 192.

Oh that his conclusion were true: “consequently, our clients will increasingly insist that business consultants be brought in to analyze the internal processes of the legal department.”

Aside from that self-serving thought, I believe Potter speaks too harshly. Blanket condemnations make good quotes but bad evidence. He cites nothing as an example of hidebound practices. My view is that many general counsel these days are quite current with solid practices but find it hard to maneuver given severe budget constraints. More fundamentally, no consensus exists regarding what exactly are best-in-class processes for legal departments.

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